I must confess that this piece has been bubbling in my heart for a couple of weeks and I'd been resisting writing it. This morning as I went through the same experience that inspired the piece, the struggle began because I definitely never want to or be seen to commend or even condone something God condemns. As I discussed, rather debated, this with the Holy Spirit, I heard Him say:
"Make your stand clear from the start then proceed to the 'message from that mess.'"
So first things first: one of the worst things anyone can do to themselves & even to those around them is smoke. A lot of people think that people who are sucidal are few and far between - however, the truth is that anyone who smokes is sucidal...sad but true. I prefer is that no one - whether or not I know them - is in that category.
Having said that, I was challenged by the negative impact those who smoke during the walk to work make on me. Yes, you'd agree with me that smoking stinks and that stench spreads very quickly especially when it's windy. The flip side to that bubbled up when 2 Cor 2: 14-15 came to mind:
Give thanks to God! He always leads us in the winners’ parade because we belong to Christ. Through us, God spreads the knowledge of Christ everywhere like perfume. God considers us to be the sweet smell that Christ is spreading among people who are being saved and people who are dying. (NIRV)
Indeed, smoking is a stench of death which spreads & negatively impacts those around.
God expects us all to be and spread the scent of life everywhere we are and go. I encourage you to take a moment to assess whether you are & give off a stench of death or scent of life. For the benefit of all around you, I pray it's the latter...